I am thinking of putting a green wash over the background as a tribute to the Green Hornet TV series. But then again, I am liking more and more the starkness of the black and white images and text.
As I worked with Lee's text, I was reminded that he was a very deep thinker and that he inspired many with not only his physical feats, but also his philosophical observations. The excerpt below, from the Bruce Lee Foundation website, explains this well.
The years between The Green Hornet and the Hong Kong films were often difficult for Bruce Lee. In Hollywood he wasn’t getting offered the roles he felt he deserved, he struggled to support his family, and he injured his back very seriously and was told that he would never be able to participate in martial arts again. He turned to many self-help books during this time for inspiration.
One day he took hold of one of his own business cards and wrote the phrase “Walk On” on the back. He bought a special stand for this card and kept it on his desk as a constant reminder to keep moving forward. With this as his mantra, Bruce Lee worked himself into the best shape of his life, wrote volumes of notes on many different subjects and ideas, and further developed and named his art of Jeet Kune Do. The rest is history.
When life gives you obstacles, you must summon the courage and…
Sometimes I don't have a clearly defined vision of what a finished canvas will look like as I am working on it. For example, when I started working on Einstein's portrait, I used text from an old Mathematics textbook. Because it was old, the pages were quite brown, so I was inspired to create a sort of sepia toned image. This seemed appropriate as well because of the time period in which Einstein lived. As I started laying in the background color, I realized that this was not working out the way I had hoped, so I began playing with small amounts of color by way of adding encaustic medium and oils. By using a lot of wax and liberally applying heat, the text in the background and in the curved lines of the "drawing" remained visible. I soon discovered that the parts of the painting that appealed to me the most were the most vibrant colors. This seemed to work well because it reinforced the idea that Einstein was filled with unexpected ideas.
Einstein once said, "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources." In some ways then, I suppose the very existence of this blog exposes my lack of creativity.
I will close today with a couple of observations. Bruce Lee has been credited with the following:
"Nothingness in Eastern language is “no-thingness. We in the West think of nothingness as a void, an emptiness, an nonexistence. In Eastern philosophy and modern physical science, nothingness — no-thingness — is a form of process, ever moving."
With this in mind, I will keep moving, but not too fast. After all, as Einstein points out, "The faster you go, the shorter you are."